Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Italian Peasant with Japanese Name

Festive Attyre is being a huge enabler with me. In this case, I decided that I wanted to make a late Italian Renaissance peasant outfit for Kozu. The designs ended up based off of two women from Pietro Ronzelli's Nativia di Maria. As per usual, as much as possible would come out of my stash.

The wig is very much not from my stash, and neither is the ribbon. I didn't have any ribbon of the right size that would look good for a lower class ensemble.

The main feature is the kirtle and sleeves, particularly the trim. I didn't deliberately go after the black and red color scheme, but that was the material I had that had good weight and drape, and that yarn looked good against it. The trim is made from lines of single crochet from a cone of yarn older than I am, and is hand applied. Except for the long skirt seams, this thing is hand sewn. The sleeves are separate and are mostly machine sewn.

Under the kirtle is the smock. Since I was short on linen scraps and the sleeves are tight, I just made short smock sleeves so I wouldn't have to worry about stuffing them in. At first I miscalculated how much of the ruffle I needed, so I had to partially dismantle it and piece in some more material. I was pretty much out of linen scraps type 1, so I went with type 2 for the last bit of length. Yay, mismatched peasant! Mostly handsewn except for part of the ruffle.

The apron is made of pieces of material left over from making a human sized apron. There wasn't enough from the big scraps to make the third panel, so I pieced it together for more budget saving peasant goodness. At this point, I no longer wanted to handsew, so the long sides of the panels and the piecing are all done on machine, though I used the blind stitch feature on the machine for hemming. The short sides are hand hemmed, but I took my dear time finishing that.

Here's a detail:

Weirdly, though I didn't want to hand sew this part, I jumped at the chance to connect the three pieces of apron with insertion stitching like the woman in the painting in a pink dress. I guess my brain decided that embroidery is not at all like construction sewing.

So this is the outfit from top to bottom. it took a lot longer than it should have due to project hopping, but I'm very satisfied with how it turned out.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Make It Black

One of the swaps I participated in was called the Black Swap, which naturally had to do with black items. My partner did not have anything specific in mind, and her doll was described as being feminine with the occasional fondness for surprising others. In addition to black, she wanted light pink to serve as a complimentary color.

Here are in progress photos of the embroidery.

Here is Dalya, kind enough to model the cape:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

La, La, Dalya

In September 2011 my mother and I went to Japan. There were many places we wanted to see, things we wanted to try, and gardens to admire. We decided in advance how to cope with only one of us knowing the language, and how to prevent translation headaches. Of the places we put on our itinerary, Kyoto and Volks' Tenshi no Sato were included.

Due to my strong penchant for giving myself thought exercises I took a look at some of the MSDs available at Sato courtesy of some fan sites, asking myself what doll I would get if the chance presented itself. None of the regular molds caught my fancy, and the MSD sized Tenshi doll really didn't grab my fancy.

Still I played along with myself. If I got a new girl, she would be a sister to Rica and Lilja, as I was bringing them along. Miss Hypothetical would be the middle sister. As there is not much of an age gap between these two sisters, I would prefer it if the new girl served as Lilja's older twin. No matter what Miss Hypothetical's default hair and eyes were, I'd switch them out to coordinate with Rica and Lilja.

At Sato there was much browsing and photo taking, some disappointments and considerable laughs, and shopping to be had. The angel looked much nicer in person that it did in the promotional photos. After much careful deliberation, we got her. 

Once we got back to our room I let out the new girl, dressed her, and plopped a red wig on her head.

A couple of years ago, I bought Lilja a silvery human sized ring that looks like flowers joined together.  It tends to get buried under the avalanche of other rings Lilja wears as bracelets. For the new girl, I took it off of the little sister and put it on her wrist. It was like magic, there was now cohesion between the twins, like I planned it all along.

I named her Dalya in honor of the X Japan album and the Angela Aki song, of which the title of this post is a reference. These two pieces of music are actually spelled "Dahlia," but I'm sticking with the alternate spelling on account of my fondness for the Silent Hill games, and a major villain is named Dahlia.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oh Glorious Day

I have a soft spot for pintucks, especially in white fabric. I would like to blame this on blastmilk and her pretty photo shoots, and Volks, for having so many dolls have default outfits of this kind. As it happens, Yu Wei and Yu Lian look good in white, so I made them some outfits based on Volks designs, but with my own stamp.